What is Duolingo? – Pros, Cons, and Tips to Help you to Continue Improving


Abram Pimentel, Writer

Have you ever heard of Duolingo? Duolingo is a language app that helps you learn effectively, simply, and even have fun and enjoy learning a language. There are 38 languages that are available to learn in the app. I personally use Duolingo because I think it makes learning a language fun to learn and it feels like a game. I´m learning French, Spanish, and recently started Latin in Duolingo because I further read that if you learn Latin it can help you to learn the other Romance languages. In this article, we will discuss some of the Pros and Cons of using Duolingo, and also a few tips that can help you to further improve your language fluency. Note: You can´t get fluent from using Duolingo itself but you can use those same kinds of questions and make them more challenging which can help increase your fluency. 


  • Duolingo stories focus on improving your reading comprehension and getting further immersed in everyday life situations and conversations
  • The lesson formats are very simple and straightforward


  • If you want to learn a certain topic, you don’t have any access to it unless you go through all the previous tasks
  • The heart policy can be difficult because when you make a mistake, you lose a heart. You are given 5 hearts and if you lose all of them, you potentially lose your ability to continue learning the language. It takes about 25 hours for the hearts to refill, but if you
  • don’t want to wait that long you can pay currency (gems in the app and lingots in the online version) to regain hearts. 


Now, I prefer using the online version instead of the app because you don’t lose hearts for making mistakes, and also pushes you to type words into sentences rather than choosing words from a word bank. 

Duolingo is free and you are not learning anything less or more with or without the Plus, and it is just an optional add-on that includes the following:

  • unlimited hearts so you can learn at your own pace more efficiently and retries
  • No ads
  • Plus learners are 4.2 more times more likely to finish a French course
  • Track your own progress
  • Test out of any level to unlock harder content(which would help you progress in the language faster and to get to the level that you are currently in)
  • Review all mistakes in one place
  • Mastery quiz

In short terms, Plus is supposed to give you these little easy way-outs and shortcuts to get to the point you want to achieve in the language. The free membership comes with all the important curriculum such as complete course lessons and stories. In the end, if you can get through the ads, the heart policy, and have the patience to go through the lessons, you may not consider getting the Plus. Concerning the heart policy, you can regain hearts by doing lessons before that one.


More Practical Tips that can help you become more fluent while using Duolingo:

  • Duolingo doesn´t give you much practice on speaking, there would only be about 1 to 2 questions per lesson where you have to record yourself. One way you can improve your memory and speaking skills is by repeating or reading out loud what you read or hear the audio say in french. Also in some questions when you need to tap on the words to make a sentence, it is
  • One helpful thing to know is to go on the tips in every lesson to learn grammar in that skill that you will need to know and will help you in the language. One thing to keep in mind is that not every language may have lesson tips. 


What I wish Duolingo removed:

I think Duolingo should remove the ¨hearts¨ policy whenever you make a mistake on a question. Making mistakes is part of learning new things, especially for a language.

Closing Comments:

In the end, I think Duolingo will help you to enjoy learning a language, while it may not get you to 100% fluency, you can enhance your own experience in learning the language by taking the practical steps mentioned in this article and other learning methods that work best for you. 


Links used In Research: